Lower rails against supermarket proposal
By ADRIAN MILLER
A SUPERMARKET outside the Maclean CBD has the potential to damage existing businesses, according to Maclean Chamber of Commerce president Keith Maude.
Mr Maude said any new supermarket in the town would have to be situated within the current CBD for it to prove beneficial.
"Our main concern would be building a complex outside the current CBD in that it would split the CBD with the potential to damage the main village CBD," he said.
Mr Maude said it was still too early to know what effect a supermarket would have, but it would need to be well-planned.
"It's a little bit hypothetical, but if it is the people quoted in the paper (last week), they normally don't go into a building on their own ? they would go in with specialty shops ? and who knows what sort of damage that would do to the main CBD of Maclean," he said.
While the chamber appeared unsure of the effect a new supermarket would have, shoppers in Maclean had no doubt what it would do.
Woodford Island resident Di Moore said small businesses would feel the pinch if a major supermarket chain moved to town.
"It'll put most of the small businesses, like the butcher, the fruit shop and the deli out of business," she said.
"I've always been a supporter of small businesses and a new supermarket would do a lot of damage to them."
Maclean resident Jeff Jones said another supermarket would be superfluous to the town's requirements.
"We already have two supermarkets, a couple of butcher shops and a fruit shop," he said.
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"If Woolworths move in then they'll have all that as well and I think it'll have a detrimental effect on existing shops."
Woodford Island resident Patrick Day said a larger chain couldn't match the service the town already received.
"There are two supermarkets already and they both offer really good customer service which you don't get in bigger shopping centres," he said.
"If another was introduced to the town it would wreck both of them."
Clarence MP Steve Cansdell also weighed in to the debate, calling on the Clarence Valley council to reject any offer made.
"A new Woolies supermarket in Maclean would have a far greater negative impact on local business, so I say it's time to give Woolworths CEO Roger Corbett a taste of his own medicine and just say 'no'," he said.
Yesterday a Woolworths spokesperson said at this stage no plans had been submitted.
"It is too early to confirm or deny, but we are always looking for opportunities to bring Wool- worths to towns," she said.